Cranbourne railway line
|Cranbourne railway line, Melbourne|
|Length||14 km (8.7 mi)|
|Tracks||Single track with crossing loops|
|Service pattern||Stopping all stations|
|Rolling stock||Hitachi, Comeng, Siemens|
|Former connections||South Gippsland|
|Railways in Melbourne|
The Cranbourne railway line is a suburban electric railway service operated by Metro Trains Melbourne in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. It operates along the inner section of the former South Gippsland line.
The line traverses flat country and there is little in the way of earthworks. There are several level crossings along the line. The area around Cranbourne is one of Melbourne's main growth areas, giving the line considerable potential for growing patronage.
The line, which branches from the Pakenham line at Dandenong, is single track throughout, with a crossing loop towards the Cranbourne end of the line. Trains can also cross at Cranbourne itself, which has two platforms. Power signalling is provided throughout, being controlled from Dandenong. There are no intermediate terminating facilities, however stabling sidings were recently constructed and opened in Cranbourne.
Beyond Cranbourne there is a siding between Cameron Street and Berwick-Cranbourne Road near the Cranbourne "Shed" and the new Hunt Club Estate. The line then continues to Leongatha, but between Cranbourne and Nyora, the line is unserviceable. Government plans have the line to Leongatha being rebuilt and reopened, but there appears to be little happening in this regard.
- Cranbourne, Merinda Park, Dandenong, all stations to Caulfield/Malvern, express to South Yarra, then all stations to Flinders Street via City Loop. Services before 6:30am and after 8:30pm are shuttle services between Cranbourne and Dandenong. A small number of peak hour services stop all stations.
The Cranbourne line opened in December 1886 as part of the section to Tooradin. This was the first section of the South Gippsland Railway, with passenger services to Leongatha withdrawn on 24 July 1993. The last train ran on 24 July 1993 with P class locomotive hauling an FSH set to Leongatha and back to Melbourne.
In November 1993, Train Order Working replaced Electric Staff safeworking to Cranbourne, then on 24 March 1995, the electrification and power signalling on the Cranbourne line was commissioned. Funded as part of the Federal Government ‘Building Better Cities’ program, the $27 million project included an upgraded Dandenong station and a new Merinda Park station at Cranbourne North (the line had previously been electrified for a short distance to the Commonwealth Engineering siding).
In 2008, work started on the construction of six train stabling sidings at Cranbourne station at a cost of $37 million, to enable more trains to run on the line at peak times without duplicating the line, which was completed in November the same year, along with a major upgrade of the station and the extension of platform 2.
On 3 November 2012, a truck travelling along Abbotts Road, in Dandenong South, was hit by a Cranbourne-bound train at about 11:40am. The accident caused the train to jack-knife, causing severe damage to the train, as well as the track and overhead infrastructure. One passenger died at the scene of the accident, having suffered a heart attack, while at least 13 others, including the train driver, were injured. Police are currently investigating the accident. Due to severe damage to both the track and overhead infrastructure, the Cranbourne line remained closed from the accident onwards until first service on 12 November 
Bold stations are terminuses, where some train services terminate; italic stations are staffed.
- Daniel Breen (24 March 2009). "Freight network goes off the rail". Geelong Advertiser. www.geelongadvertiser.com.au. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 77–82.
- Lyndsay Neilson. "Appendix 1: Funding Allocation, Victorian Area Strategies". The ‘Building Better Cities’ program 1991-96: a nation-building initiative of the Commonwealth Government. epress.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- Fiddian, Mark (1997). Trains, Tracks, Travelers. A history of the Victorian Railways. South Eastern Independent Newspapers. p. 154. ISBN 1-875475-12-5.
- "Farewell – The Sand Train". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 71–76. February 1998.
- "Media Release: CRANBOURNE STATION TRAIN STABLING PROJECT ON TRACK". Minister for Public Transport Media Release. www.dpc.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
- "VICSIG – Infrastructure – Cranbourne Sidings and Station". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
- Houston, Hingston, Stark, Cameron, Chris, Jill (3 November 2012). "Safety fears after fatal crash". The Age. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Cranbourne line repairs complete". ABC News. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Official line map
- Network map
- Statistics and detailed schematic map at the VicSig enthusiast website